Consequences of scoliosis – what is the danger of curvature of the spine?

Poor posture not only looks unaesthetic but can also lead to disability. The consequences of scoliosis are global and spread to all organs and systems of the body. Scoliosis in the initial stages responds well to treatment, therefore, having noticed the first signs of curvature in yourself or in a child, think about how dangerous scoliosis is and what ignoring the problem can lead to

At an early age, the curvature of the spine can be caused by improper sitting at the table, while working on the computer, when one hand clicks the mouse, therefore, it sticks out a little forward. Even innocent music lessons can lead to the development of scoliosis. The child’s body is so flexible and mobile that even constant movements of the bow can lead to involuntary displacement of the vertebrae. Among other reasons, they are distinguished: metabolic disorders, increased range of motion in the joints, congenital pathology of the spine, poor heredity.


4 stages of scoliosis

The consequences of scoliosis depend on how much the disease has progressed:

  1. The first stage is the easiest. The curvature is no more than ten degrees. Pathology cannot be diagnosed visually, changes are noticeable only on an X-ray. The first degree of scoliosis does not pose a great danger, since it does not affect the quality of life;
  2. In the second stage, the angle is more than 10 degrees and can reach 25. The deviation is noticeable on visual inspection: one forearm becomes lower than the other. This is an intermediate stage, scoliosis is easily treatable with physiotherapy exercises;
  3. In the third stage, the curvature reaches 50 degrees. The human figure becomes asymmetrical. Therapy at grade 3 involves wearing a special corset. The need for surgical intervention is maturing;
  4. In the fourth stage, the curvature angle exceeds the 50-degree mark. Pathology affects the work of internal organs. Conservative therapy is already ineffective, patients are shown surgical intervention.

Why is scoliosis dangerous?

At first, there is a stoop, a violation of posture, uneven shoulders, asymmetry of body parts. In the later stages, an intercostal hump appears, the chest is deformed. Spinal scoliosis is accompanied by painful sensations that arise after physical exertion and with a long static position of the body. Patients complain of rapid fatigue.

The curvature of the spine forces people to adjust their lifestyle: you cannot make sudden movements, lift heavy objects. Sports such as badminton, basketball and volleyball are banned. Athletes develop more on one side of the body, and this can worsen the course of the disease. Dancing and gymnastics should be approached carefully, because they imply the presence of rotational movements, which should be avoided with lateral displacement of the spinal column.

With scoliosis, the spine can bend both to the right and to the left. At the same time, the shoulder blades and ribs begin to protrude. Often in the thoracic region, the displacement occurs to the left, and in the lumbar, to the right. Then the spine takes on an S-shape.

In the thoracic region

With scoliosis of the thoracic region, all organs located within the chest are affected. Consequences of scoliosis in the thoracic region:

  • Pinched nerve;
  • Vertebral artery syndrome;
  • Displacement of organs;
  • Metabolic disorders;
  • The development of pathologies of internal organs.

With the deformation of the spinal column, almost all body systems are affected: from the genitourinary to the respiratory. 

Chest scoliosis at all stages except the first leads to respiratory failure and heart failure. The ribs are connected to the spine, therefore, with deformation of the cervicothoracic region, their displacement is observed. This leads to a change in the shape of the lungs, with maximum inhalation, the amount of air taken in decreases. Lateral deformity is a dangerous pathology of the heart, manifested in the form of dysfunction of the right part of the organ, caused by compression and impaired blood supply to the lungs.

Disorders in the work of the heart and lungs are not immediately noticeable. The first bell is labored breathing during physical exertion. It is enough to climb the stairs and shortness of breath will appear. Further, the patient has high blood pressure, the heart rate increases. An electrocardiogram can diagnose an irregular heartbeat and even myocardial damage.

People with scoliosis suffer from coronary artery disease. With ischemic heart disease, doctors prescribe medications to improve blood circulation in the heart muscle.

High blood pressure resulting from the displacement of the spinal column does not normalize when taking medications. When treating hypertension, specialists rarely pay attention to the condition of the patient’s spine. And so, after all, hypertension can be a clear symptom of scoliosis.

In the lumbar region

Curvature in the lumbar region turns into a whole complex of violations. Consequences of scoliosis in the lumbar spine:

  • Puffiness appears in the lower extremities;
  • The muscle tone of the abdomen weakens;
  • Flatulence;
  • Stool disorder manifested in the form of frequent constipation;
  • Frequent urination
  • Congestion in the pelvic organs, as well as in the digestive tract.

With scoliosis, there is increased fragility of bones, called osteoporosis. The most severe complication is compression of the spinal cord and further paralysis of the legs, up to complete immobilization.

What can physical therapy do for your scoliosis?

The nervous system also suffers. Mental disorders are frequent companions of scoliosis. Curvature of the spine during periods of growth and development is considered especially harmful. This is dangerous because it leads to psychological trauma, for example, in the form of complexes about the imperfection of appearance. A teenager may feel inferior to peer ridicule. The child is afraid of the progression of the disease, possible surgical intervention.

Youthful idiopathic scoliosis results in visual impairment, muscle twitching, reflex pathology, and loss of sensitivity.

Scoliosis and disability

Scoliosis can really turn into a disability. Half of the people who have been diagnosed with stage 4 become disabled. Patients are not able to do even simple housework, often they cannot always serve themselves. The patient needs outside help. A person loses the ability to work due to extravasal compression of the vertebral arteries, thought processes are disrupted due to insufficient brain nutrition. Scoliosis and its consequences can lead to loss of physical activity.

The presence of spinal deformities in school-age children leads to problems with memorizing and assimilating new material.

It is important to contact a medical institution on time, because the disease in the early stages lends itself well to conservative treatment, in which the spine returns to its original appearance. Early diagnosis helps to avoid the serious consequences of spinal curvature. 

Categories: scoliosis

1 Comment

Zachary Tomlinson · October 29, 2020 at 10:01 am

I find it alarming that scoliosis is a disease that affects your spine, which will make it curve and affect your vital organs. My boss told me that she’s experiencing this back pain that she can’t explain, and after reading this article I believe that this is the same condition. I’ll suggest that she contact a scoliosis expert for diagnosis and treatment.

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